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On Saturday night, Judy and I saw and heard the currently notorious Ward Churchill speak at Reed College. At first this was supposed to be a big public event that charged admission but the Reed power elite were somewhat frightened off and the evening was turned into a free student -- teachers only event. Judy and I got in via a special "guest list." Churchill became famous because he wrote some harsh and extreme things right after 9/11 that were interesting, challenging but definitely on the insensitive side.
His basic thesis is that the US acts like a global bully, brute killer and exploiter and that it has done this since its founding. America was cruising for a bruising and inevitably on 9/11, its chickens came home to roost. The right wing turned Ward into a super villain and demanded he be fired from his teaching post, he became an official member of its most hated list. Actually Ward's ideas aren't all that original, they are kind of a mix of historian W.A. Williams, Tragedy of American diplomacy and the Weather Underground's Prairie Fire. For him, it was all a matter of bad timing. I wasn't sure how I felt about the guy, till I head him speak.
Now, I like him. He seems kindly and he has a genuine sense of humor. His speaking style reminds me of another likable guy, Panther cofounder Bobby Seale. Churchill is a fine, even elegant speaker with something vital and important to say. He presents his position logically and factually and then, unlike the cowardly George Bush, he verbally and humorously takes on all comers. The audience of 500 rewarded him, at times, with thunderous applause. Strength to you Ward Churchill and carry on.
AUDIO: download and listen to the full speech I download full speech and question/answer session I Interview with Churchill after speech by local independent journalist
BACKGROUND: Ward Churchill Under Attack (from indymedia.org)
These are two audio files taken from a presentation given on February 3, 2005, at the First Unitarian Church, by Earl Blumenauer, U.S. Representative from Oregon's 3rd District, and Mark Weisbrot, Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington D.C. Mark is also co-author of "Social Security: the Phony Crisis" published by University of Chicago Press, 1999.
Earl [Blumenauer began] his power point presentation with a picture of Ida May Fuller, the first U.S. citizen to receive a Social Security check, on January 31, 1940... [and delved] into changes proposed by the Bush administration, and demonstrating how these changes will not help retirees, but actually make things worse. Then Mark Weisbrot [began]... by stating the System is not in trouble. "The truth is, according to the numbers that President Bush is using, the System can pay all the promised benefits for the next 37 years... [and outlined the] "tricks that have been used," [stating that] "... they inflate the health care costs. 'they say, look what's going to happen to Social Security and Medicare in 50 years, and that is indeed as you saw, (in Blumenauer's presentation) explosive, if you put Medicare on there. But Medicare is a separate program, so that has nothing to do with Social Security, and has very little to do with the aging of the population. It has everything to do with the fact that our health care costs are out of control. In the United States we spend nearly twice as much as the other developed countries do on health care and we still leave about 47 million people uninsured. That's the real problem.'" [ Read More ] [ PhilosopherSeed.org | Future of Social Security - on cable access | More PIMC articles on Social Security ]
The local chapter of the War Resisters League and friends held signs to passing drivers, walkers and bicyclists on the Burnside Bridge Friday morning.
Taxpayers in the U.S. are paying over $1 billion dollars a day to the military. This averages out to $10 for each household every day to the I.R.S. for defense.
If the United States military expense in Afghanistan and Iraq were included, the U.S. taxpayers are paying over $1 billion a day more than any other countries' citizens in the world are paying for their military. This includes Russia, China, Germany, India...
Yesterday I discovered that Portland State University is having its 3rd annual "emerging student leaders conference" sponsored by Starbucks at 9:30 am, April 16th at the Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom. On the full color, 11x 17 inch, laminated poster, under the list of sponsors, the sponsor name of Starbucks preceded the name of "The Student Affairs Dean of Student office" and the "Student Orientation Programs." Is this the way that PSU is orientating new students? By teaching them to accept 'emerging student leadership' sponsorships from the world's worst multinational corporations?
The conference is ironically titled, from a quote by Malcom Gladwell from his new book: "How Little Things Make A Difference." When you type in "Malcolm Gladwell" and the word "starbucks" into google the first thing that comes up is a review which describes how Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book full of praise for the business practices of Starbucks.
Your actions do make a difference! Boycott the Starbucks emerging Student Leaders conference and attend a different event on the same day that makes a real difference!
Trees older than our country are currently being logged again in the Scott and Salmon Watersheds of the Klamath National Forest. Following a two-year lull in which environmentalists had successfully stopped old-growth logging in the Klamath, and in which the Forest Service had begun to focus less-controversial small diameter thinning projects, ancient forests are once again being logged at the 2,640-acre Jack Timber Sale.
"The Forest Service is not only ignoring scientist that say old-grwoth logging must stop in the Klamath River to save salmon, but they are cutting old growth next to the Scott and Salmon Rivers and on Russian Wilderness trailheads and are saying they cutting are small trees." said Regina Chichizola with the Klamath Forest Aliance.
Following the massive salmon die-off in the Klamath in 2002 due to reduced river flows and high water temperatures, resistance to Forest Service old-growth logging in critical habitat for salmon has greatly increased.
A groups of lively protesters entered the Bellis Fair Mall in Bellingham WA yesterday to raise awareness around Victoria Secret's contribution to forest destruction.
"It was a short lived but lively protest at the mall today" says Missy Hope and Bellingham resident who left work to participate. "It is so important that Victoria Secret knows that we are opposed to their role in endangered forest destruction and that we will continue to act out until they commit to using 50% post consumer content in their catalogs." The group was dressed in flashy lingerie when they delivered a letter to the manager stating that "89% of Americans want companies to be socially responsible." Carrying a banner reading "Catalogs = Clearcuts" and singing songs drew not only the attention of in store shoppers and passersby, but also the security guards that quickly escorted the group out of the mall.
This week the City of Gresham facilitated a positive and productive meeting between residents and developers to review the scope required for the Wal-Mart traffic study. Fifteen community members met with Kittelson, Pacland and City staff to address traffic concerns including local schools, pedestrians on Springwater Trail, neighborhood short-cuts, Fire Station 73, and the 2-lane bridge south of Safeway. The meeting resulted in an expanded study scope to address those issues. The City has requested a list of "hot-spots" from members, due Friday, to include in the final scoping requirements. Please forward any questions or concerns regarding traffic issues in your area. The City now estimates 3-4 weeks before the traffic study is complete and the review period will begin.
NOT ANOTHER WAL-MART RALLY! Saturday, April 16 from 11am - 1pm. Past street-corner rallies have been very effective at raising public awareness, gathering signatures to our petition, and selling yard signs. This weekend we will target the intersection at 182nd & Powell, and will meet in the Shari's parking lot. We are seeking volunteers to come for at least one hour and help picket the site and wave at traffic. T-shirts are now available and will be offered at a discount to rally participants!
[ Gresham First ]
Those people wearing purple during the noon hour Wednesday on Siskiyou Boulivard in front of Southern Oregon University's Churchill Hall were university workers, members of SEIU, the Service Employees International Union. It was a cold brisk day and the 30 or 35 folks who skipped lunch to assemble were not there for their health.
They were out there for their healthcare!
State workers all over Oregon are under attack. The employer is not satisfied with this pay freeze of the last two years, and now in current bargaining wants state workers to start paying towards health care premiums, too!
Sometimes NPR isn't so bad, maybe almost pretty good . . . sometimes. But other times, like today, NPR covered two stories with a definite pro-Bush slant, just to make sure that no one would doubt that its reporting is "balanced"! Especially wouldn't want to step on the toes of any of its corporate or "non-profit" foundation supporters!
'Snazmo' comments: NPR is very, very good at fooling well-intentioned liberal types. Oftentimes, after I explain NPR's revolting position on low-wattage community radio the person I explain it to is crestfallen. I mean, they are bummed out! They just can't believe warm and fuzzy NPR is screwing over low wattage radio every chance it gets: "No! Not my NPR! I thought it was telling me the truth!" I then go on to explain how FAIR has nailed you numerous times for slanting your banter more and more to the right, with ever more right wing think-tank pundits or interviewees. Or how you use military psy-ops to help manufacture your "news" on Iraq. Finally, I go on to advise them of better and more accurate news sources.
A repost of an action alert I got from Basic Rights Oregon...
Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski announced today that he will introduce a bill this week in the Oregon Senate, at the request of Basic Rights Oregon, that would provide legal protections and recognition of committed, same-sex relationships through a civil union and outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation in the State of Oregon. The bill represents the culmination of months of successful lobbying by Basic Rights Oregon and our supporters on the Oregon Basic Fairness Act (HB 2519) introduced in the Oregon House earlier in the session and civil unions. Both pieces of legislation are now combined in the new bill.
Portlanders have already seen this story unfold in their city. The arrest of law-abiding citizens, the police lying in court only to be contradicted by video shot by independent reporters, and the arduous task of holding the city accountable. However, there is one new twist in the prosecution of cases of those arrested during the RNC: the prosecution has been caught altering the police video submitted to the court by removing segments showing the innocence of the arrestee, only to be caught when an unaltered video was submitted by the defense.
I do not have cable tv, but it would appear, based on the Internet, that American media sources are burying the story. Time to blow the whistle...
The story is being given headline coverage in Canada, since the last public mad cow case in the United States was blamed on what was called 'an immigrant Canadian Mad Cow'. The two suspected cases predate this incident, and the one cow that was reported, while it was born in Alberta, Canada, then due to the Free Trade Agreement, crossed over to the United States as a young calf, and lived its entire adult life on a Washington State dairy farm...
A whistle blower from the USDA has appeared to testify before a Canadian Parliamentary committee, since it would seem that he could not get a hearing before the American Congress or by the American media, so he decided to blow the whistle in Canada.
A report sponsored by the UN and the World Bank tells us that the Earth is near the breaking point. The cause? Overpopulation and overconsumption. So how do our intrepid leaders in Oregon respond? With business as usual, of course, planning right ahead to increase Oregon's population and consumption! So much for serving on the advent of sustainability. Rise up Cascadians, and say no to more growth as usual.
When it comes to sustainability and business, Portland is a city of divided intentions. On one hand, it is renown for its stated commitment to sustainability. But on the other hand, the individuals, institutions, and special interest groups that dominate our business environment behave at complete odds with sustainable business activity. No greater examples of this exist than in two articles that recently appeared on the Portland Tribune's front page.
About 100 people showed up for the Justice for Servicemaster janitors today at SW Columbia and Front. Some carried a huge banner with arms extended over their heads. Chanting was loud and lively, as was the drumbeats by the No War Drum Corps! We stopped at several businesses that probably employ Servicemaster janitors.
Upon crossing SW Clay and Front, some of the rallyers stayed in the middle of the crosswalk, chanting & not moving. Traffic stacked up quickly. After a few minutes, a car drove forth slowly, coming within about 2 inches of a gal who was bending backwards. One guy then stood directly in front of that stopped car in the crosswalk. The driver asked him to move several times (I think), but the guy did not budge. The driver then got out of his car and pushed our guy aside. He did not resist. That opened up the traffic which then began to move forth--as did 3 police cars. By then the main group was heading back to the start point.
The weekend of March 25th, 26th, and 27th the Northwest Anarchist Federation (NAF) held its third conference in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. All three cities that NAF has local in, Portland, Seattle, and Victoria, were represented. Since our last conference NAF has been engaged in the class struggle through out the Northwest. The Victoria Anarchists Collective has continued their organizing in the Canadian Federation of Students, fighting for democracy within the CFS and fighting to keep higher education in British Columbia affordable for working class students. They have also begun laying the groundwork for opening an anarchist info-shop in Victoria, where there is no community space for anarchists. The Seattle Local Union of NAF has continued its work of anti-military recruitment. Seattle NAFers were part of the inspiring events of January 20th, where military recruiters were forcibly kicked out of Seattle Central Community College.
In Portland, the Firebrand Collective has continued the publication of its rank and file workplace agitational newspaper, 'The Firebrand". Firebrand has also been heavily involved in the labor movement in Portland, taking part in strikes, and building a community flying squad. They have also been organizing against the closing of public schools and were instrumental in bringing together different neighborhoods into a coalition, The Neighborhood Schools Alliance. The Burning Rose Collective was voted in as a member collective. They have been distributing class struggle propaganda and tabling at events in Portland.
So how did Portland's sleaziest newspaper win a Pooh? It was of course for one little article and is not intended as an overall endorsement of all the other unprofessional practices of the dirty rag. Usually the only "awards" this scandal sheet wins are those from the various trade organizations to which it belongs where the members get together frequently to give themselves awards, and there are so many prizes in so many categories that everybody's bound to get something, such that even amateur small-town papers in rural counties can claim to be "award-winning."
But a Pulitzer for Willamette Week? Obviously the Pooh judges didn't look at the Big Picture. Instead, they saw only one little expose where the paper lucked out, and they overlooked a looooong history of baaad employee relations, several union bustings, dysfunctional alcoholic management, ignorant and obnoxious (bad combination!) "critics," sophomoric nitpicking at The Oregonian when actually any writer that WW gets who's any good ends up moving on to the Big O for twice the pay and far less dysfunctional working conditions, and the sleaze list goes on and on.
related: [ Poem to the Willamette Week regarding Goldschmidt cover (5/14/04) | Willamette Week's Hypocrisy Exposed Again (3/11/05) ]
This is a great interview. i didn't know Tre that well before he left Portland, but i was (and still am) inspired by him and his example. In this phone interview he talks about life behind bars, the pain of his separation from nature, and his legal case. He unequivocally denies the charges brought against him in the United States; the tactic of burning anything is not something he would ever do, he says. And he explains the bolt-cutters.
In this interview, Tre speaks about his time in Prison and the reasons why in is being held. Recorded April 7th, 2005 at CFRU Radio in Guelph, Ontario by Environment Radio.
Legal Defense fund website updated, more tour dates announced
The Tre Arrow Defense Committee is proud to announce our newly refurbished web site: www.trearrow.org
There are many new and exciting additions to the web site, including over two dozen pictures of Brother Tre, the latest down-loadable flier, four Free Tre Arrow images, Tre's suggested reading list and web links, and a link to two different rare audio interviews with our imprisoned brother.
Throughout April, Ben Shannon, spokesperson for the Tre Arrow Defense Committee will be traveling throughout B.C. on a speaking tour entitled, "The Media as the Judge: The case of accused 'Eco-Terrorist' Tre Arrow." The Corporate Media plays a consequential role in Tre's case and his life by already indicting, trying and convicting Tre. In refusing to use the words 'accused', 'alleged' or even 'suggested' before calling Tre an 'Eco-Terrorist', they are implying that he has had a trial and been convicted. Tre has never stepped one foot into a court room to face these charges, let alone been convicted of them. Stating that an individual is guilty before their trial is undemocratic and unjust. By playing this game, the Corporate Media has been able to convince society across the continent that Tre is an 'Eco-Terrorist'.
The House Transportation Committee held a second hearing on HB 2611 and HB 2947 last Wednesday, April 6. PCUN President Ramon Ramirez and members of the American Friends Service Committee urged the committee to reject the bills which require a Social Security number to obtain a driver's license, permit, or identification card in Oregon. Additionally, PCUN submitted 15 written testimonies from immigrants who would be affected by this legislation.
The committee may consider amendments similar to the Tennessee and Utah model of issuing a "driving privilege card" to applicants who do not have a Social Security number. Tennessee's "driving privilege card" bears the notation "For driving purposes only. Not valid for identification." PCUN rejects any multi-tiered licensing system because it wastes valuable law enforcement resources, forces DMV officials to act as immigration officers, and exacerbates discrimination and racial profiling against immigrants.
The Monthly Bark Field Trip for April was to the Pollalie-Cooper Timber Sale, located about 15 miles south of Hood River. This sale consists of three sales, Tartan, Clan and Kilt, which have been challenged by Bark, as lead plaintiff, in court.
A total of 11 people attended the hike, which was led by Sandi Scheinberg, Executive Director of Bark. Besides these timber sales, the area is threatened by a proposed development by Mt Hood Meadows, who are seeking to build a four-season destination resort and expand the Cooper Spur Ski Area right in the middle of a key deer and elk migration corridor.
There was much to learn, and not just about the timber sales and Forest Service management practices. Besides these subjects, Sandi spoke about how snags provide habitat for forest creatures; how down woodey debris contributes to the building of soils and fertility and absorb water for slow release to the forest during the drier seasons; she identified various plant and tree species and spoke at length about the different habitat these species need, and the habitat they likewise provide to the overall balance of being that is the forest.
Mississippi Avenue, and the Boise neighborhood, is once again facing the forces of "Urban Renewal". A neighborhood that has overcome many struggles in the past, which have disturbed and displaced its residents, is now losing the economic battle over its homes, businesses and its parks. Situated high upon the bluffs of North Portland, its easy access to downtown, isolated residential streets and the existing commercial buildings that line the avenue, all make the Mississippi Avenue area attractive to young, upwardly-mobile, urban professionals who are seeking a place to settle down. But with these young families comes the force of Urban Renewal, and ultimately gentrification, with far-reaching implications on existing families
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